"What's the PMRC?" my young girlfriend asked as she looked though the box of saved clutter. I didn't have to look over my shoulder to know what she had found. My friend Frank made dozens of these stickers and plenty of variations of them. They're irrelevant now, and probably wouldn't stick to anything anyway. But I can at least bring up the topic before throwing them away.
The Parents Music Resource Center was a group started by Tipper Gore and the "Washington Wives". It all started when Tipper overheard her daughter listening to Prince's Purple Rain album, particularly one line from one track ("Darling Nikki") about "masturbating with a magazine". When Frank made these stickers, this was back in the late 80s when talk had been going around about another kind of sticker: official "Parental Advisory" sticker to be stuck on albums that offended white parents. Despite myself and other hopeful teens getting signatures and petitions against this, obviously the "Parental Advisory" stickers won in the end.
So back in those days, the fears of course were that if you listened to an album from the likes of Prince or Iron Maiden, you'd grow up to be a deviant, drug-taking, devil-worshiping, commie-loving, evil entity. And there were supposedly all those subliminal messages to deal with too. Then later the rap genre got its share of bashing too with the whole 2 Live Crew incident. I think the absurdity reached a climax with the Judas Priest trials. Some time after that we went into the Gulf War, which became the new distraction and scapegoat for the world's problems, and hype over the music subsided.
But back in the mid 80s there were the PMRC hearings. Standing up against them were Dee Snider, Frank Zappa, and John Denver (yes, John Denver, who got a lot of unfair shit in his day for his song "Rocky Mountain High"). You can find lots of clips on YouTube of the PMRC hearings, but here's one summary segment from a heavy metal documentary.
Thanks for the memory, clutter. Now you stickers can join the PMRC itself, in my trash can.